Sunday, November 2, 2014

November- Is it Fall or Winter

How quickly the seasons change. It was a very pleasant fall, though hectic at times.
Now, Winter has made a sudden appearance.
So, I have filled the feeders, brushed up on the difference between House and Purple Finches, and am getting ready to settle in for cold weather. 
I'll be out and about, hiking, 
fishing (just to show that I'm not too old to fish in Winter), 
and generally enjoying Wild Wonderful West Virginia
Witch Hazel Blooms Nov 1

Dandelion in frost

October 31, 2014
Everything has seasons, and we have to be able to recognize when something's time has passed and be able to move into the next season. Everything that is alive requires pruning as well, which is a great metaphor for endings.   
Henry Cloud

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Tornado and Fall

On Tuesday Oct 7 at 10:40 P, I awoke during a thunderstorm to hear the sound of a freight train near my home. It turned out to be a  EF-2 tornado which devastated parts of Southern West Virginia (Click here for Newspaper article). My home and all the bulidings on the farm  were spared but hundreds of trees including the entire fruit orchard were blown over and destroyed. We lost power for 24 hours and were temporarily blocked in by the damage. We are normally sheltered from this type of storm having only seven confirmed tornados in this county since 1950.
       We were blessed to have so little damage to life and property. During the tornado, I only had time to say uh ohh and to pray and I am thankful to the Lord that we were spared. It will take months and maybe  years to clean up, but I do understand how much worse it could have been. 
Below are some pictures of damage, but also of awesome fall colors of West Virginia 

Trees all around the barn fell, but only a sweet cherry tree fell against it but caused no damage.
 This is less than a 1000 feet from my home 

A Red Heart Cherry fell on the barn. This is after I cleared most of it off and saw there was almost no damage

Surveying damage after several hours of chainsaw work.
Their may be months or years of work here 
Here, trees didn't fall or break, but were violently twisted in two
Early Fall color at Grandview
Fall at Home 

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

September Crusin'

I got myself talked into a Western Caribbean Cruise, Grandkids can accomplish things like that.
Needless to say, I was bored silly a lot of the time, but there were highlights.
I saw Myan Ruins in Mexico and some flowers in several places.
There will be some pictures below of the ruins and flowers, but the most interesting day was coming home when we were 245 miles from the nearest land and a hawk like bird started flying around the ship and landed several times. I began stalking with a camera and long lens and actually got pretty close to him.
I believe it was a Peregrine Falcon, If you have a better ID please let me know.

September is Gone

Spent a couple days around Charleston again a week and a half ago and found the following flower.
This is another new and very interesting wild flower for me.
The Downy Lobelia - Lobelia puberula. It was growing in several trail head openings
#333 - Downy Lobelia - Lobelia puberula
Downy Lobelia - Lobelia puberula

September is also time for one of my favorites: 
The Ladies Tresses

Monday, September 15, 2014

August and September Wildflowers

Been busy time with school starting and I have only been out on a few quick hikes here and there.
Below are a few pictures :

Great Blue Lobelia

Cardinal Lobelia 
#332 - Tall Rattlesnake Root
The leaf shape is very variable on this plant
It is a new flower for me though
Zig Zag Goldenrod
Blue Stem Goldenrod

Sulfur Shelf-Chicken of the Woods?
two feet across or more

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Amazing Orchids in July

The wet field at my neighbors house had three Purple Fringeless Orchids last year. This year there are at least a 100. Below are many photos which speak for their selves how amazing these flowers are. I also found a  white one.


Meet the Ghost

Sunday, July 27, 2014

State Parks, Orchids and Wildflowers

After spending most of a week in Florida, I spent several days in Charleston, West Virginia at a conference. As usual, when the conference ended for the day, I was out the door headed somewhere to hike.This time it was at two parks, mostly within Charlestons urban sprawl. At Little Creek Park, a mostly sports complex, I hiked into the Trace Fork Canyon.

At one point, I ran into Hoary Mountain Mint, an interesting wildflower that I had only previously seen in the Smokey Mountains . I had not really thought about it being in West Virginia, but now realize that it has a pretty wide range.
#328 - Hoary Mountain Mint

I also saw a large population of Rose Pink

 The other park that I visited was the Kanawha State Forest.

 There I stumbled on a small group of  Crane Fly Orchid in bloom, or rather partially in bloom. These two plants were side by side, with one in full bloom and the other plant had no open flowers. 

#329 - American Bell Flower

I also found another new
West Virginia wildflower for me.
The American Bell Flower

Below are other flowers seen over the two days, will add ID's later

#330 -  Whorled Milkwort

#331 - Flowering Spurge 

This Spurge has green flowers surrounded by white petal-like bracts.